Kentucky lies in the east central United States and borders the Ohio River. Although the state officially remained in the Union during the American Civil War, its ideological split was exemplified by the fact that Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, both hailed from Kentucky. Farming products such as tobacco and hemp were the principal economic activity during the state’s early history. In the early 20th century Kentucky began to take advantage of large deposits of coal and abundant hydroelectric power within its borders.  These features brought low-cost energy and helped spawn manufacturing industries within the state. Today manufacturing is still the leading contributor to Kentucky’s economy, including food processing and automobile production. The state is also home to the Kentucky Derby, a prestigious horse race which draws more than 150,000 spectators annually.

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